Something exciting is coming, FedUni. Blue Tie Ball is back and aims to be bigger than ever!

The Student Senate and Campus Life are uniting to support the 2016 Federation University Blue Tie Ball. We hope to raise mental health awareness and support the national depression and anxiety initiative of beyondblue.

Traditionally a very successful event, we’re adding extra support behind engaging more students, raising more funds and generating a wider conversation on positive mental health across all campuses and study modes. We teamed up with our FedUni Chancellor and former Director of beyondblue, Dr Paul Hemming, to chat about the upcoming ball and more.

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Are you excited for this year’s Blue Tie Ball?

Like the rest of the FedUni community, I am really looking forward to the Blue Tie Ball and welcome the opportunity to contribute once again to my favourite charity.

Neck Tie or Bow Tie?

The tie is not a big issue. Those who do have a chance to indulge in a bow tie usually enjoy that opportunity, but I am sure a standard neck tie will always be acceptable!

What do you consider your greatest achievement during your time as Director of beyondblue?

When we first set up beyondblue 16 years ago, the founding directors never anticipated the growth and acceptance of the organisation by such a huge sector of the community. I will never forget the challenges we faced in the initial rollout of programs in businesses and schools across the country.

Why would you recommend students get involved in FedUni’s Blue Tie Ball campaign?

All of our students should take up the opportunity to be involved in the ball, even if in a very small way. Every single person will be affected by the impact of depression and anxiety on their friends, colleagues, family or themselves.

What is your key piece of self-care advice for students?

If you ever feel so down that you can’t imagine a way back up, then seek help by talking to someone.

What is your go-to quote or other source of inspiration when you’re having a down day?

Winston Churchill suffered from severe depression, but he said, “If you are going through hell, keep going.” He also said, “Never, never give up.”

What do you feel should be the priority areas of action for improving Australian’s mental health on a local and national scale?

We need to recognise and tackle the never-ending black dog in our community that is created by suicide.

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The Chancellor is behind the Blue Tie Ball and we hope you will be too. Whether attending in person on 8 October, raising some extra donations with friends or classmates, or just checking in with someone in your life to make sure they’re going okay, we’re all a part of this important conversation.

#FedUniBTB

Interview by Jess Kelly